Archive for Monday, September 20, 2004

City’s focus turns from past to future

Time capsule buried to await bicentennial observance

September 20, 2004

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It's over.

Lawrence wrapped up its 150th birthday celebration in grand fashion Sunday with the burial of a time capsule, music, an American Indian ceremony and the release of 100 white doves.

"It was a very fitting end to this and a great way to start the next 50 years," said Ken Pine, moments after the festivities ended at Sesquicentennial Point, near the Clinton Lake dam.

Pine's wife, Rowena Pine, agreed.

"It was wonderful," she said. "The doves were something else. That was a very special touch."

More than 100 people gathered at the point, which is comprised of about 1,600 acres of rolling open grounds mixed with clumps of trees. The focal point is a hill where the time capsule was buried in a vacuum-sealed vault donated by Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Throughout the afternoon people contributed items to the capsule that included letters, hats, brochures and even family mementos, to mention just a few.

Connie Richardson left a family picture in the capsule. She was accompanied by two of her daughters, Alison, 14, and Melissa, 12. They planned to be there at the capsule's reopening.

"I hope I am," Connie said. "The kids should be."

Bryson Cummins, 3, Lawrence, takes a last look at the
Sesquicentennial Time Capsule during the closing ceremony of the
city's 150th anniversary celebration. Bryson and others at the
event Sunday placed final notes and personal items in the capsule
before it was sealed and buried at Sesquicentennial Point, near the
Clinton Lake dam. At center right near the capsule is 21-month-old
Lillian Derby, of Lawrence, a sixth-generation descendant of Amos
Lawrence, for whom the city is named.

Bryson Cummins, 3, Lawrence, takes a last look at the Sesquicentennial Time Capsule during the closing ceremony of the city's 150th anniversary celebration. Bryson and others at the event Sunday placed final notes and personal items in the capsule before it was sealed and buried at Sesquicentennial Point, near the Clinton Lake dam. At center right near the capsule is 21-month-old Lillian Derby, of Lawrence, a sixth-generation descendant of Amos Lawrence, for whom the city is named.

They are counting on it. Melissa left a letter predicting what Lawrence would be like in the future. The biggest change, she said, will be "more people."

After the capsule was sealed it was slowly lowered into the vault while the official Sesquicentennial band, Junkyard Jazz, played "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in various tempos and dozens of adults and children gathered around to watch.

The event at the point capped a year of events with special focus on those taking place last week, especially Saturday's downtown parade and birthday party in South Park.

The birthday party's conclusion also marked the official start of an effort to make Sesquicentennial Point the symbol of Lawrence's future. A plaza at the site will feature a walkway with commemorative stones for each of the city's years, from 1854 to the present, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Officials estimate the cost of building the plaza area alone will be about $500,000. Already $77,000 has been raised, said Jerry Niebaum, vice president of the Sesquicentennial Commission. Chuck Warner, president of US Bank, was introduced by Niebaum as the fund-raising campaign chairman.

White doves are released at Sunday's closing ceremony for the
Lawrence Sesquicentennial at Sesquicentennial Point at Clinton
Lake.

White doves are released at Sunday's closing ceremony for the Lawrence Sesquicentennial at Sesquicentennial Point at Clinton Lake.

"This will be a little different than it is now in 50 years," Warner said.

Individuals or groups wanting to buy a stone for the walkway will pay the price of the date, for example 1921 would cost $1,921.

Mayor Mike Rundle called the point a gift to future generations of Lawrence residents and then noted that the city and Sesquicentennial Commission were claiming the stone for 2004 in honor of Clenece Hills, president of the commission. The stone will have her name on it with that of the commission.

Foreground at left, Judy and Jerry Niebaum, Lawrence, sing along
with other attendees at the closing ceremony of the Lawrence
Sesquicentennial at Sesquicentennial Point at Clinton Lake. A large
time capsule was buried during the event Sunday.

Foreground at left, Judy and Jerry Niebaum, Lawrence, sing along with other attendees at the closing ceremony of the Lawrence Sesquicentennial at Sesquicentennial Point at Clinton Lake. A large time capsule was buried during the event Sunday.

"It is a credit to her confidence in this community that has made the year the great success that it is," Rundle said.

Hills said she hoped the point will be a location for annual events.

"What a wonderful thing to have a gathering at this site every year until we open the time capsule in 50 years," she said.



































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